the home of online investigations

Buk Transporter Filmed “Heading to Russia” Sighted in an Earlier Photograph

July 18, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

Earlier today, the Ukranian Ministry of Internal Affairs posted the following video, claiming to the show the Buk Missile Launcher that has been linked by some to the downing of flight MH17 being transported to Russia

It has been impossible to verify the time of location, and the launcher is missing at least one missile.  Yesterday the alleged launcher was also seen outside of Snizhne heading south, but not loaded onto the back of a truck.

It was also claimed the following photograph was taken in Snizhne, showing the same missile system.  Despite those reports, it actually appears that this photograph was taken here in the town of Torez, with the cameraman facing northwards.  Video from 2 years ago filmed in the area shows the side of the market with the yellow signage, and the building with the white and black marks along the side of the building, confirming the location. (Thanks to Aric Toler for spotting that one)

buk possible site.jpg

 

What’s very interesting about this picture is it appears the launcher is loaded into the same truck shown in the video claiming to show the launcher heading to Russia.  There’s several parts of the truck that match

 

transporter comparison

1 – Red loading ramps slightly shorter than the height of the Buk.

2 – Yellow and red side panel.

3 – White cabin with a blue stripe.

So it seems likely this is the same vehicle, but it does raise some questions about the timeline of events.  If the Buk was driving out of Snizhne under it’s own power, was it loaded in the town, unloaded so it could drive out, then loaded outside of town so it could be driven out the country? Does this mean the launcher was positioned south of Snizhne when it fired on MH17?  If so, would it be in range of the airliner from it’s position south of the city.  Hopefully, things will become clearly as more information appears.

Eliot Higgins

Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat and the Brown Moses Blog. Eliot focuses on the weapons used in the conflict in Syria, and open source investigation tools and techniques.

Join the Bellingcat Mailing List:

Enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of Bellingcat posts, links to open source research articles, and more.

Support Bellingcat

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the below link:

One Comment

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)